Family Trees

FAMILY TREES
I expect we all love trees but I especially love the ones where lots of limbs have developed from low down on the trunk. They remind me of family trees. I love considering how from just one couple (or trunk) so many branches (or families) can grow. Bill and I have 8 children together and if each of them have 8 children then we will have 64 Grandchildren! I doubt that is going to happen though. My 6 year old tells me she wants 9 children but my other children have said they want a ‘normal’ sized family.

WE HAVE A VITAL ROLE
The other thing about trees is that they are unassuming yet essential. They quietly go about their business of oxygenating the planet for us and don’t seem to mind if we notice or not. But we do well not to take them for granted. It is in our best interest to protect them and recognise the vital role they play in the world. The same could be said for parents. Often what we do for our children goes unnoticed. Others may not realise the value of the time we spend nurturing, teaching and loving our children as the results are often unseen. This can then affect how we value our role as parents and subsequently, our enjoyment of parenthood.

SELF VALIDATION
I had always wanted to be a Mum yet found the reality much harder than I could have imagined. One reason was that my role held little value in the eyes of the world. I remember bumping into my old high school teacher who expressed disappointment that I was ‘Just A Mum’ as I had done well academically. Having been used to receiving positive feedback in the form of good grades at school or college and in the form of appreciation in my work as a midwife, I was floundering without encouragement from others. I eventually learned the importance of self validation. it didn’t matter if anyone else was appreciating my efforts as long as I did.

FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE
That is my intention here, to encourage you to be your own cheerleader. Don’t underestimate the importance of your role just because it may not make any money or receive any accolades from the world. It is easy to be your own worst critic and focus on what mistakes you may have made in the day or aspects of your personality you dislike. This is known as Negativity Bias. Instead, take time today to make a note of what you are doing well. What have you achieved today? Have you made time to do things that please you? What are your strengths? What qualities do your friends admire about you? Remember that ‘What we focus on Grows’ so focus on the positive.

Sleeping babies

Aren’t children adorable? Especially when they are sleeping. When our children are very small it is hard to imagine us ever not feeling loving towards them. But even if it hasnt happened yet, it will do. And when it does, you may feel guilty, especially if you have expressed negative emotion toward your child. It is important to remember you are not alone. The best thing you can do when you have felt or expressed negative emotion toward your child is find a way of soothing yourself. What was it that made you feel the way you did? What were your unmet needs? Can you identify the unhelpful thoughts you were having at the time? Can you find new, better feeling thoughts for when it happens again? Be kind to yourself. You are only human. When you show yourself compassion you are more able to show your children compassion.

Seize The Day

So I spent an hour in the cemetery this morning. I had left my daughter at a gymnastics class and fancied sitting quietly in a beautiful location while I waited. I drove around looking for a suitable spot and came across a cemetery. It was perfect! It was quiet apart from the magnificent birdsong, I was surrounded by cherry blossom and I didn’t look out of place sat by myself. I find a cemetery a great place to find perspective. I remember that life is not for ever (at least in this body) and so I should make the most of each moment. I remember to seize the day.
On the walk back to the car I came across a section of the grounds that were dedicated to remembering babies that had been stillborn. I had a little cry as I had a tiny glimpse of how the parents might have felt. Thinking of these families that hadn’t been able to enjoy their new-born babies made me think of my own children. How often do we forget the love and joy these people have brought into our lives and instead focus on their apparent faults or the ‘work’ they create? Here was another reminder to appreciate my children, focus on their positives and not take life’s treasures for granted. It’s so easy to forget the important things in life as we deal with the demands of our busy lives.
Today, maybe consider how you can make time to stop and smell the roses and have more quality interaction with your child. Much Love xxx